Boulder / Battle Rock
Review by Showapop
After shifting around hundreds of plastic baggies of toys at a local thrift store a few months ago I came across a figure from a line of Bandai toys that I had completely forgotten about called Rock Lords. Rock Lords was a subset of Popy's Machine Robo toys that transformed into rocks instead of vehicles and repackaged in the United States by Tonka.
It is easy to know why I forgot about the Rock Lords line. Although I remember seeing Shogun Warriors and Micronauts as a kid they were mostly my older brothers and cousins toys. GoBots were actually the first line of Japanese robot toys that I feel were marketed in a big way to my generation.
GoBots originally blew me away but about a year later Hasbro would release their Transformer line and suddenly GoBots line looked too simple for my tastes. GoBots also had a terrible cartoon to push the line especially compared to Sunbow’s Transformers cartoon. By time Rock Lords were released I had no interest in GoBots and the fact they transformed into rocks did not thrill me too much. By that time I saw GoBots as kids toys, I had already moved onto Godaikin and Spiral-Zone.
I believe that a reevaluation of Machine Robo / GoBots is happening with collectors right now. Today I think they are a great line of toys that are almost the Japanese equivalent of classic Lensley Matchbox line of die-cast cars. Machine Robo are nearly the same scale, they are numbered and they are highly detailed for the scale that they are in. Like Matchbox the beauty of Machine Robo is in its simplicity.
Boulder comes carded with the action figure and a red laser gun that is missing from this example. His original Japanese name was Battle Rock.
I am still not a fan of Rock Lords but having picked up Rock Lords leader Boulder I was quite impressed with the some of its features and I can see why some collectors like the line as much as they do. For example, Boulder is an action figure not just a robot with no articulation that just stands there. The head turns, the arms rotate at the shoulder and elbow, and the legs move. Also, I love the color and the texture of the Boulder when it is in the rock configuration. Another great detail is how Bandai painted the screws to match the color of the plastic around it.
By itself, the rock is very bland but after looking at pictures of people’s collection of all the Rock Lords in the rock configuration piled on top of other Rock Lords, its all quite impressive with the different types of colors, textures and rock shapes. There are just too many other toy lines that I like much more and I just do not see myself ever collecting Rock Lords, but it was great to re-evaluate Boulder and give him his due.
©2009 article and pictures Leonardo Flores and CollectionDX.
|Posted 3 April, 2009 - 20:57 by Showapop|